And The Greatest Of These Is?

Posted by Elaine February 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM AEDT

Imagine someone saying these words to you… wouldn’t that be wonderful?
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But what if no-one ever said these words to you?

It’s Valentine’s Day so I’ve spent time thinking about love today. There’s a verse in the Bible that says that the greatest thing we should do is to love…. but what does love actually mean?

Growing up with the King James Version of the Bible I found old words like thee and thy hard to get my head around, especially when these words found their way into corporate prayer as people expressed their love for God, so I was relieved when modern translations like Good News Bible and The Living Bible finally gave us another option in the late ’60s.

But whatever version you read, the Bible has much to say about love. Jesus, the author of love, gave us the greatest example of love the world has ever seen:

So He’s earned the right speak and I know what He says will be good for us so we should listen when He says that love should be the motivation of our lives:

If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels,[a] yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1TPT

There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. By faith, we believe in God and believe all that he has revealed to us and that Holy Church proposes for our belief. By hope we desire, and with steadfast trust await from God, eternal life and the graces to merit it. By charity, we love God above all things and our love for Him spills over into charity to others. 1 Corinthians 13:13

….. But modern translation may not always accurately explain what the older version was saying and most versions of the Bible have REPLACED the word charity with the word love, but when I read in the Bible what God requires of us, the word charity fits best. 1 Corinthians 13

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What does the word LOVE actually mean? It can be something like I love chocolate or my dog or going on holidays, all to do with self. It can even be the number one excuse for actions. For example when someone leaves a committed relationship to become one with another because those feelings of love are gone, bringing sadness, even devastation to those left behind. Is it all about us feeling gooy or good inside?

Is that what God was saying when He inspired these words?

Moral absolutes that I grew up with have been largely discarded and love can mean many things. We love chocolate, affection, a pet who sees only us, a relationship.. the list goes on.

But when we read this verse in the old King James version charity is the most important thing and charity is more specific….

In the following verses God reminds us how important charity actually is and one day this will actually take place, with all of us involved…

“When the Son of Man appears in his majestic glory, with all his angels by his side, he will take his seat on his throne of splendour, and all the nations will be gathered together before him.[a] And like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats, he will separate all the people. The ‘sheep’ he will put on his right side and the ‘goats’ on his left. Then the King will turn to those on his right and say, ‘You have a special place in my Father’s heart. Come and experience the full inheritance of the kingdom realm that has been destined for you from before the foundation[b] of the world! For when you saw me hungry, you fed me. When you found me thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you invited me in, and when I was poorly clothed, you covered me. When I was sick, you tenderly cared for me, and when I was in prison you visited me.’

“Then the godly will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and give you food and something to drink? When did we see you with no place to stay and invite you in? When did we see you poorly clothed and cover you? When did we see you sick and tenderly care for you, or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’

“Then to those on his left the King will say, ‘Leave me! For you are under the curse of eternal fire that has been destined for the devil and all his demons. For when you saw me hungry, you refused to give me food, and when you saw me thirsty, you refused to give me something to drink. I had no place to stay, and you refused to take me in as your guest. When you saw me poorly clothed, you closed your hearts and would not cover me. When you saw that I was sick, you didn’t lift a finger to help me, and when I was imprisoned, you never came to visit me.’

“And then those on his left will say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and not give you food and something to drink? When did we see you homeless, or poorly clothed? When did we see you sick and not help you, or in prison and not visit you?’

“Then he will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you refused to help one of the least important among these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you refused to help and honour me.’ And they will depart from his presence and go into eternal punishment. But the godly and beloved ‘sheep’ will enter into eternal bliss.”

Matthew 25:31-46 TPT

When you did this to the least of my brethren you did it to me!

A person who truly loves you is someone who sees the pain in your eyes when everyone else believes the smile on your face!

When we get out of our own way and step into God’s plan for us, others are effected in a positive way, resulting in them giving thanks to God for His love to them and the cycle is complete.

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That’s God’s heart for those who are lost without Him and it’s the only thing that will matter when we stand before Him. Imagine standing empty handed before Him.

These three remain but the greatest of these is…. charity!

If you care, please share and help bring light to our increasingly dark world for Jesus sake.
2018 Elaine Costin – Capturing Sunrise